From his embed with US Marines Echo Company in Afghanistan, photojournalist and filmmaker Danfung Dennis reveals the devastating impact a Taliban machine-gun bullet has on the life of 25-year-old Sergeant Nathan Harris.
In the age of manscaping, metrosexuals, and grooming products galore - what does it mean to be a man? Oscar nominee Morgan Spurlock and executive producers Ben Silverman, Will Arnett, and Jason Bateman present a delightfully entertaining doc featuring candid interviews from Will Arnett, Jason Bateman, Paul Rudd, Zach Galifianakis, and everyday people weighing in on everything from the obsession with facial hair to body dysmorphic disorder. A FilmBuff presentation. MPAA Rating: NOTRATED
Approaching a community filled with so many rumors and misconceptions is no easy task. Fursonas director Dominic Rodriguez is not without his own biases, but instead of attempting to deny this fact, he faces it head on, unafraid to be shot down by his subjects. Fursonas is a whistleblower film that oscillates between the fantastic and the unusual, with moments of awe and wonder slapped against harsh reality. The audience can delight in infiltrating the fun and sometimes-dark secrets of an escapist group. Whether or not you’ve heard of furry fandom, this documentary transcends its bizarre premise to tell a universal story of identity and community. Like a small town in Middle America, you’ll find friends in the most unusual places and unexpected enemies around every corner. Unlike a small town in Middle America, you’ll find furries.
Is the American Dream alive or dead? Political comedian John Fugelsang hits the road to find out in Dream On. This epic road trip retraces the journey of Alexis de Tocqueville, whose study of our young country in 1831 came to define America as a place where anyone, of any background, could climb the ladder of economic opportunity. Following in the Frenchman’s footsteps, Fugelsang asks whether the optimistic spirit of the American Dream that Tocqueville popularized is alive and well in the twenty-first century, or whether George Carlin was right when he famously quipped, “It’s called the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it.” Dream On features stories of hard-working people trapped in poverty; senior citizens who have lost their pensions; blue collar workers whose jobs have disappeared; homeowners fighting foreclosure; once prosperous families struggling with hunger and homelessness; fast food workers fighting for a living wage; non-violent drug offenders in prison for decades; undocumented immigrants fighting deportation; low-income communities struggling with poverty-related disease; rust belt cities coping with deindustrialization; educators trying to reform our failing public schools; and social entrepreneurs designing new ways to reduce poverty. As countless Americans struggle with diminished prospects for the future, our core beliefs about the value of work, the inevitability of progress, the fairness of the system, and America’s standing in the world are being shaken. After decades of rising income inequality and declining economic mobility, reviving the American Dream has become the defining issue of our time.
Based on The Cartel by Pulitzer Prize Winning civil rights scholar Taylor Branch, and his article in The Atlantic, The Shame of College Sports, Schooled: The Price of College Sports is a comprehensive look at the business, history and culture of college sports in America and how it became a billion dollar industry built on the backs of athletes who are deprived of numerous rights.
"The SXSW Special Jury Award winning The Way We Get By is a deeply moving film about life and how to live it. Beginning as a seemingly idiosyncratic story about troop greeters - a group of senior citizens who gather daily at a small airport to thank American soldiers departing and returning from Iraq, the film quickly turns into a moving, unsettling and compassionate story about aging, loneliness, war and mortality. When its three subjects aren't at the airport, they wrestle with their own problems: failing health, depression, mounting debt. Joan, a grandmother of eight, has a deep connection to the soldiers she meets. The sanguine Jerry keeps his spirits up even as his personal problems mount. And the veteran Bill, who clearly has trouble taking care of himself, finds himself contemplating his own death. Seeking out the telling detail rather than offering sweeping generalizations, the film carefully builds stories of heartbreak and redemption, reminding us how our culture casts our elders, and too often our soldiers, aside. More important, regardless of your politics, The Way We Get By celebrates three unsung heroes who share their love with strangers who need and deserve it."
"Skiing Everest" is the first documentary about the small elite fraternity of high-altitude skiers who climb the highest peaks in the world in pure Alpine style, carrying their skis and declining to use supplemental oxygen. At the top of the world, high in the Death Zone, they lock into their skis and challenge the most dangerous slopes in the world - under weather conditions that are as perilous as the thin air, hidden crevasses, and 10,000 ft. sheer faces that drop into Nepal and Tibet far below. MPAA Rating: NOTRATED Montezume Basin Productions
Korengal picks up where Restrepo left off; the same men, the same valley, the same commanders, but a very different look at the experience of war. Korengal explains how war works, what it feels like and what it does to the young men who fight it. As one soldier cheers when he kills an enemy fighter, another looks into the camera and asks if God will ever forgive him for all of the killing he has done. As one soldier grieves the loss of his friend in combat, another explains why he misses the war now that his deployment has ended, and admits he would go back to the front line in a heartbeat. Every bit as intense and affecting as Restrepo, Korengal goes a step further in bringing the war into people's living rooms back home.
CITIZEN SOLDIER is a modern day Band of Brothers. Using real footage, the film offers a first-hand look into combat, where the soldiers demonstrate extraordinary bravery and valor to honor a warrior code-never leave a fallen comrade behind.
Director Patricia Foulkrod's powerful documentary spotlights American soldiers sharing -- with aching honesty -- their experiences on the battlefield in Iraq and back home as they try to reassemble their lives. These men and women discuss the anguish of war, the difficulties of readjusting to life after their tours of duty and the often callous treatment returning troops receive from the military and the Veterans Administration.
Equal parts infuriating and illuminating, THE KILL TEAM looks at the devastating moral tensions that tear at soldiers' psyches through the lens of one highly personal and emotional story. Private Adam Winfield was a 21-year-old soldier in Afghanistan when he attempted with the help of his father to alert the military to heinous war crimes his platoon was committing. But Winfield's pleas went unheeded. Left on his own and with threats to his life, Private Winfield was himself drawn into the moral abyss, forced to make a split-second decision that would change his life forever.
American Promise is a coming of age story exploring the lives of two African American boys and their families. Their hopes, struggles, achievements and failures are revealed as they make tough decisions to guarantee a better future for their boys.
JFK High School, located in the midst of a run-down area in Newark, New Jersey, is a public school for all types of students with special education needs, ranging from those on the autism spectrum to those with multiple disabilities. Janet Mino has taught her class of young men with autism for four years. When they all graduate in the spring of 2012, they will leave the security of the public school system forever. Best Kept Secret follows Ms. Mino and her students over the year and a half before graduation. The clock is ticking to find them a place in the adult world -- a job or rare placement in a recreational center -- so they do not end up where their predecessors have, sitting at home, institutionalized, or on the streets. Erik is the class nerd — smart, talkative, and great at following directions. He is a joyful person with "two moms"; a biological mother who is too ill to care for him, and a dedicated and loving foster mother. It is clear that Erik is the student most ready to take on the real world. Robert is the biggest mystery and heartbreak in the class. His father home schooled him until he passed away 4 years ago, and Robert is now cared for by his aunt, a recovering drug addict. His chaotic home life has posed a problem in the classroom, as he is absent half the time. He is a smart student who can read and spell but over the last year has been digressing in class. Quran is the only student who has both of his parents raising him. He is a quiet soul who loves film. He is able to read and has control of all of his behaviors. Ms. Mino has high hopes Quran will find placement after school because of his good work ethic and parental support.
In March of 2004 a Pennsylvania filmmaker was activated with his National Guard unit and deployed to Iraq. During the next twelve months he would document his unique experiences as he and his platoon were tasked with the politically charged mission of searching for the infamous weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The search would take them from the heart of Baghdad to rural Iraqi farms. Land Of Confusion offers a never-before seen account of working with the, then secretive, Iraq Survey Group (ISG) as they travel throughout the country searching for evidence that Saddam had the WMDs. The film reveals the extraordinary perspective of soldiers on the ground in Iraq, as recorded by one of their own and goes far beyond what the conventional mainstream media shows audiences about the war in Iraq.